5 from 3 votes

How to Cook Ground Turkey (the best way!) 

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This recipe shows you how to make ground turkey in just 15 minutes! This healthy, versatile recipe makes ground turkey taste good for any dish.
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
£0.66
Makes: 4
mains
American
Freezable

If you’re wondering how to cook ground turkey and make it taste good, you’re in luck! This recipe lets you create healthy, flavourful ground turkey meat in just 15 minutes. That way, you can have your weeknight meal ready in no time. You can cook ground turkey as taco meat, a topping for salads, chilli, gyro bowls, and more!

A stainless steel pan with fried mince with a wooden spoon with a portion lifted up above the pan.

Why you’ll love this recipe

Versatile – The best part about this lean turkey recipe is that you can adjust the seasoning to your liking and turn the ground turkey into nearly anything.

Healthy – Cooking ground turkey is a healthy alternative to ground beef, as it’s lower in fat.

Fast cooking – This simple cooked ground turkey is ready in only 15 minutes, so it’s perfect for busy weeknights.

Flavourful – With spices like paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne, you can expect a burst of flavour in every bite.

Simple seasoning – If you’re wondering how to season ground turkey, I’ve noted the spices I like to use below. This simple seasoning provides a tasty flavour and is versatile enough to use in various recipes.

If you have leftover mince, consider making one of these yummy recipes; Southwest Ground Turkey and Rice Skillet, The Best Ground Turkey Pasta and Korean Spiced Turkey Mince⁠

Best ground turkey to use

Fat content
Knowing which kind of turkey to buy is essential when learning how to cook ground turkey. I recommend aiming for a turkey with 2-7% fat. This percentage keeps the turkey relatively lean yet still flavourful. A higher fat percentage means you’ll have moist, not dry, meat.

Ground turkey breast vs mixed meat (dark and light)
Either ground turkey breast or ground mixed turkey meat will work for this  ground turkey recipe. However, I recommend ground turkey breast, as it’s leaner. You can use mixed meat for a richer recipe if you don’t mind the extra fat/calories.

Ingredients

Ingredients to the make the ground turkey mince laid out on a pale blue back ground and labelled.

Ground Turkey – Part of learning how to cook ground turkey is grabbing the correct turkey from the store (see notes above). For this lean ground turkey recipe, I recommend turkey that has 2-7% fat. This seasoned ground turkey recipe will also work for ground beef, chicken, and pork.

Italian Seasoning I’ve included Italian seasoning in this ground turkey seasoning, as it’s great for Italian-inspired recipes like pasta dishes. However, you can swap this out with other spice mixes, depending on what you plan to use the turkey for. For example, if you’re making ground turkey tacos, use a taco spice mix instead.

Cayenne Pepper – When you season the ground turkey with cayenne pepper, it adds a bit of a kick to the dish. If you have a low heat tolerance, consider using a smaller amount or leaving the cayenne pepper out completely.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations/ Adaptations

There are a few ways you can change up this recipe for how to cook ground turkey to meet your flavour preferences. For one, you can use whichever seasoning you desire. Be sure to prepare the meat with a seasoning that matches your intended recipe for the best results (like taco seasoning for ground turkey taco meat). Additionally, you can swap out the ground turkey for another ground meat of your choosing, like ground chicken, pork, or beef.

Pair this ground turkey mince with one of your favorite dishes; Creamy Polenta with Parmesan, Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta and Cheesy Gnocchi Bake

How to make ground turkey the best

  1. Preheat a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat, coated with rapeseed oil/canola (Image 1).
  2. Add the ground turkey into the pan and break apart (roughly) with a spatula (Image 2).
2 step by step photos, the first with a large stainless steel pan with some oil and the second with raw mince meat being fried and stirred with a wooden spoon in the pan.

3. Leave to brown on a high heat for five minutes. Season with salt and pepper (Image 3).

4. After this time, the ground turkey should have taken on some nice colour. Break apart properly now with your spatula and stir (Image 4).

2 step by step photos, the first with mince meat in frying in a pan with a spoon holding some up and the second withfried mince in a pan.

5. Continue to cook for another 3 minutes, then add the seasoning and another generous pinch of salt into the pan. Reduce the heat to medium now and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes (Image 5). 

6. Serve up with a crack of black pepper and enjoy! (Image 6).

2 step by step photos, the first with fried mince with brown seasoning added in a pan with a spoon holding and the second with this mixed together.

Tips for the best results

Using a stainless steel plan over a high heat
This will achieve the best browning as the heat distribution over a stainless steel pan is amazing.

Add seasoning to your liking
The seasoning is key if you’re wondering how to make ground turkey taste good. Be sure to use spices/seasonings that you enjoy. If you like a bold flavor, add more seasonings and vice versa.

Choose a quality ground turkey brand
Since ground turkey is the star of the show, I recommend using a good-quality turkey brand. You’ll notice a difference in flavour when using lower-quality meat versus higher quality.

Need inspiration for some quick and easy recipes? See my ; Marmite Pasta, Spaghetti al Limone and Creamy Tarragon Chicken

A stainless steel pan with fried, seasoned mince with a wooden spoon  in the pan.

Ground Turkey Uses

Now that you know how to cook ground turkey, you may be wondering what to use turkey for. Here are a few easy meal prep/dinner ideas: use the ground turkey for soup, stew, chilli, tacos, stir-fry, pasta meat sauce, egg roll in a bowl, meatloaf, burgers, or meatballs. Essentially, you can use ground turkey anywhere you would normally use other types of ground meat.

Serve with my delicious : Mexican Street Corn Off the Cob

Leftover Storage and Reheat Instructions

After learning how to cook ground turkey, it’s necessary to know how to store leftovers (if there are any!).

Refrigerator
If you plan to use the leftover cooked turkey in ground turkey recipes in the next few days, you can store it in the fridge. Be sure to allow the meat to fully cool first. Then, store it in an airtight container for up to four days in the refrigerator.

Freezer
If you’ve doubled or tripled the recipe and want to store the meat for future recipes, you can store it in the freezer. Like above, be sure to let the meat cool before packing it in an airtight container or baggie. Then, keep it in the freezer for no more than six months.

Reheat
When you’re ready to use frozen ground turkey, allow it to defrost overnight in the fridge. Then, toss it in a pan over medium heat and warm. Be sure to stir the meat regularly. 

Make Ahead Instructions

One of the great things about learning how to cook ground turkey is that you can make it ahead of time. Simply follow the directions below. Then, store the ground turkey in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Then, you can reheat it in a pan over medium and use it in your recipe of choice.

Seasoned, fried and browned mince in a pan.

FAQs

Do you have to drain ground turkey?

No, you don’t usually need to drain ground turkey because it is such a lean meat.

Do I need oil to cook ground turkey?

The best way to cook ground turkey is with a bit of oil in the pan. Since turkey is quite lean, you’ll need to add oil to prevent it from sticking to the pan.

Can you cook ground turkey in a pan?

For those wondering how to cook ground turkey in a pan, see the notes/recipe below. Here’s a quick summary on how to cook ground turkey on the stove. First, you’ll want to preheat a pan with oil. Then, brown the ground turkey, add the seasoning, and continue cooking until the meat is cooked through.

How long should you cook ground turkey?

If you’re wondering how long to cook ground turkey, it’s important to note that different cooking methods will yield different cooking times. If you decide to cook ground turkey in a pan, it will take about 10 minutes. Depending on the method, other recipes may require 5-20 minutes of cook time.

If you tried this Ground Turkey mince recipe, it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x

 

 

How to cook ground turkey

Print
5 from 3 votes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
£0.66
mains
American
Freezable
Servings: 4
This recipe shows you how to make ground turkey in just 15 minutes! This healthy, versatile recipe makes ground turkey taste good for any dish.

Ingredients

  • 500 g ground turkey (2-7% fat) (£2.65) (£2.65)

Cupboard Essentials

  • 1 tbsp rapeseed/canola oil
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Method

  • Preheat a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat, coated with rapeseed oil/canola. Add the ground turkey into the pan and break apart (roughly) with a spatula. Leave to brown on a high heat for five minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • After this time, the ground turkey should have taken on some nice colour. Break apart properly now with your spatula and stir.
  • Continue to cook for another 3 minutes, then add the seasoning and another generous pinch of salt into the pan. Reduce the heat to medium now and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes.
  • Serve up with a crack of black pepper and enjoy!

Notes

  • Opt for ground turkey with higher fat content, like 93%, to ensure a moister result.
  • Season generously to your taste preferences, using spices and seasonings you enjoy for better flavour.
  • Choose a high-quality ground turkey brand for improved taste and overall quality.

Nutrition

Servings: 4 servings
Fat: 10g
Calories: 213kcal
Carbohydrates: 3g
Protein: 27g

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Thank you so much for trying my recipe! I hope you loved it. I’d be so grateful if you could leave a comment/rating - it makes my day hearing your feedback!

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Comments

  1. So easy and tasty! Thank you5 stars

    1. Mimi Harrison | 2 days ago

      You’re welcome! So glad you enjoyed it

  2. Tried this yesterday and so easy and tasty with the seasoning!5 stars

  3. I made this delicious ground turkey recipe and served it with rice and crispy kale. The family loved it! Thank you5 stars

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